The Eva Chair by Bruno Mathsson June 01 2016
One of Sweden's most internationally known designers of the 20th Century, Bruno Mathsson (1907-1988) was born to cabinet making. His father, Karl Mathsson was the fifth generation in a family of master cabinet makers. It was natural that Bruno should follow in his these footsteps and from an early age he was taught the necessary skills acquiring a strong feeling for the characteristics of wood as well as a solid technical knowledge.
With a nod to his Finish forefather Alvar Aalto, Mathsson was interested in ergonomics and organic form and experimented with curves and height. Aalto, Mathsson and the other Scandinavian designers of the era approached Modernism in a softer, warmer and less austere manner than their French and German counterparts. They were less focussed on the machine aesthetic and instead favoured wood over tubular steel. This resulted in a more ‘palatable’, naturalistic strand of Modernism that enjoyed global popularity.
Mathsson focussed much of his studies on the "mechanics of sitting" and he carried out trials to decide the precise blueprint which a person created whilst reclining. For example, in search of the perfect seating curve he sat in a snow-drift to study the imprint his body had made.
In 1937 Bruno Mathsson exhibited a collection of his bentwood furniture, including the Eva Chair, at the world exhibition Paris Expo winning a Grand Prix for his bed "Paris ". During Paris Expo, his furniture was appreciated and admired by an international audience gaining interest from all over the world. This included the manager for the design department of Museum of Modern Art in New York, Edgar Kaufmann Jnr. who two years later, in 1939, ordered chairs by Bruno Mathsson for a new extension of the museum. The Eva Chair, (which was then called the Work Chair) designed in 1934 for Firma Karl Mathsson, was purchased for the public spaces of the MOMA.
Design Spotlight - Pierre Paulin April 12 2016
"One expects from a designer a practical object with, if possible, a touch of poetry and elegance."
Born in Paris in 1927, French designer Pierre Paulin studied stone carving and clay modelling at the École Camondo in Paris in the early 1950s.
1953 saw a young Pierre Paulin make a big splash at the Salon des Arts Ménagers in Paris. The following year, in 1954, he began designing for Thonet-France. It was during this time, working with Thonet, that he designed the iconic model CM141 Desk (1954), one of the masterpieces of their collaboration.
Pierre Paulin for Thonet Model CM141 Desk, 1954, France
The rectilinear, functionalist design of the CM141 desk is a direct descent from the Bauhaus movement and is a fascinating contrast to Paulin's later work in the late 1950s and 1960s, which was sensuously organic in comparison.
Pierre Paulin for Artifort Model F545 Chair, 1961, France
He is perhaps best known for his collaboration with the Dutch company Artifort, which began in 1958 and lasted approximately half a century. This relationship resulted in several iconic pieces, including his famed F545 Tulip Chair designed in 1961.
Now in stock is this magnificent model 3300 suite, designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1956 and manufactured by Fritz Hansen for the SAS Terminal at the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, one of Jacobsen's architectural masterpieces.
The suite comprises a pair of 3300 armchairs and a rare 3304 four seater sofa upholstered in smooth caramel leather, featuring a chromed steel tubular frame, exuding Jacobsen's unfailing sense of line and proportion.
Giovanni Offredi for Saporiti March 08 2016
Now available is the "Paracarro" dining table and four "Inlay" chairs designed by Giovanni Offredi for Saporiti in the 1970s.
The design and materials are simple and pure.
Formed of a monumental concrete table base with red lacquered steel cross beam inlay and a thick crystal glass top. Paired with four cantilever dining chairs with red lacquer steel frames, all in their original upholstery and each stamped 'Saporiti'.
The Jieldé Lamp - A French Industrial Icon June 04 2013
New in stock is this beautiful Jieldé 4 arm floor lamp.
These classic industrial lamps were created by the French engineer Jean-Louis Domecq in the late 1940s. Tired of searching for a lamp to equip the machines in his workshop Jean-Louis decided to create a "simple and robust articulated lamp" that could perform well under heavy duty circumstances.
The lamps were first produced in France in the early 50's and in 1953, Jean-Louis created a company dedicated to the marketing of the lamps whose name was formed from his initials : Ji eL Dé (pronounced in French).
The unique feature of these lamps (which set the industrial standard for all task lighting) lies in the joints. Usually wires are used in lamps with a zigzag formation such as these, however this can cause friction in the joints and can lead to breakage, which can be dangerous. In 1950 Jean-Louis Domecq designed a safe reliable alternative of placing copper plates between the joints to conduct the electricity, thus preventing the wire from breaking.
The Jieldé lamps became a favourite in many workshops and factories, and have since found their way into the home as well. Jieldé now produces various versions, including floor lamps, wall mounted fixtures and reading lights, the difference in each being the number of rods that are used.
Today the Jieldé lamp has become a famous icon of French industrial art.
A love story for Christmas... November 06 2012
The familiar pre-Christmas buzz is upon us – mulled wine is brewing, festive street lights are going up and the last minute rush to get presents bought, wrapped and under the tree is looming. Worry not. New in stock are a series of lovely Bjørn Wiinblad plates produced by Nymølle, which are ideal gifts either individually, or as a set.
Wiinblad was a Danish painter, designer and artist born in 1918 and educated at the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. Extremely talented; he worked in a multitude of mediums including ceramics, silver, bronze, textiles, and graphics, winning numerous awards and medals. Museums the world over have his work in their collections - the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Stockholm's National Museum.
Wiinblad's work is unlike any other, and he is often referred to as one of the "Superstar Designers" of the 20th Century. Probably his most sought after work is that from his time at Nymølle, where his association began in 1946 and in 1976, with the company facing closure, he took over ownership. It was here that Wiinblad produced the finest pen drawings that were transferred to production as intaglio printing, usually in a single colour.
What attracts me to his work is his wonderful use of simple line drawings, combined with the whimsical nature of his subjects, often based on the joys of music and life, which always make you smile.
The series of plates that we have for sale beautifully depicts the story of a young couples blossoming romance. In January the couple meet for the first time and in the following months, we witness how their relationship develops with both ups and downs and eventually culminates in their first-born child in the month of December. An extra dimension to the story is the month’s weather, always featuring as the backdrop. Each plate is titled on the reverse giving an insight into how the story will progress.
Wiinblad's vocation was to create designs that make everyday life a little prettier, a little more inspiring, more fun and often much more colorful. Don’t we all need a little bit of that this Christmas?